Sesame-seaweed purple potatoes

Bull kelp serves as a vitamin-rich, local salt substitute in these baked, purple hash browns.
Sesame-seaweed purple potatoes

It is quite common to behold this particular tuber in its native Peru, which is teeming with potato  diversity, but in North America we have designated the purple tater an heirloom plant. Biodiversity is as vital to the health of our agricultural systems as it is to more-than-human ecosystems.  To a large extent, the Irish Potato Famine occurred because the Irish were dependent upon a monoculture of the “lumper” potato variety, which willingly turned to jelly when attacked by the Phytopthera infestans water mold. I’m fond of the idea that preserving the genetic diversity of something as visually stunning as the purple potato might help to reduce the future incidence of globby potatoes, hunger, and desperation-induced mass migration.

  • 9 large, purple potatoes, sliced into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2.5 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 sheets of bull kelp, shredded into small pieces, plus additional long strips for garnish
  • Fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine potatoes, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic and bull kelp together in a bowl.  Spread onto one or two greased cookie sheets, and bake on the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning the potatoes once halfway through baking.

Add freshly ground pepper, garnish with extra bull kelp strips, and serve hot.

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